Hematology testing in blood banking and transfusion applications

A blood transfusion can in many cases be the only therapy available to treat an acute or chronic health condition. To ensure transfusion safety, blood banks and transfusion centers undertake certain measures.

Ensuring transfusion safety

As a blood transfusion is associated with risks, it is recommended to carefully assess the patient for its actual need of a transfusion, as many conditions could also be managed by other means.  For donation, only individuals of good health are selected. For example, it is recommended that RBC donations from individuals with pre-donation HGB below a certain threshold are deferred. Hematology testing is commonly also used in quality-monitoring of the blood products (Fig 1).


Fig 1. Blood fractions and their constituents.

Automated hematology testing

Medonic M32 system is an automated hematology analyzer intended for determination of HGB concentration and for WBC, RBC, and PLT counts. Additionally, the analyzer reports a range of other parameters such as the number and WBC percentage of lymphocytes, mid-sized white cells, and granulocytic white cells, HGB content of the RBCs, as well as volumes and distribution widths of the RBCs and PLTs.

Medonic M32 system features the MPA method that allows hematology testing from a capillary sample taken directly from the patient (Fig 2). In a study, the MPA and open tube sampling methods of the analyzer were compared in assessments of adult donors. The results indicate good agreement between the sampling methods.



Fig 2. Medonic M32 automated hematology system equipped with the micropipette-adapter (MPA) inlet for capillary samples is designed for blood testing in a near-patient clinical setting. (A) Make a deep and firm skin puncture. (B) Collect 20 μL blood into the K2EDTA-coated micropipettes. (C) Slide the tube into the adapter. (D) Insert the adapter into the analyzer. (E) CBC results are viewable on the display in about one minute.

Testing of PLT and RBC concentrates


The Medonic M32 blood bank application resides in the Medonic M32 analyzer as a special analysis profile. The profile is named PLT-C (i.e., PLT concentrate) and is pre-installed in the instrument and can be activated by the service technician upon delivery of the instrument. The PLT linearity range in the PLT-C profile is 10–5000 × 109/L, as compared with 10–1800 × 109/L in the normal blood profile. RBC concentrates are analyzed in the normal blood profile, with a linearity range of 0.30–7.00 × 1012/L. Plots of recovered versus theoretical values show good conformity over the linearity range for both PLT and RBC concentrates.

Learn more

Read more about hematology testing in blood banking and transfusion applications .